Author Samantha Durante
Her heart races, her muscles coil, and every impulse in Alessa's body screams at her to run... but yet she's powerless to move. Still struggling to find her footing after the sudden death of her parents, the last thing college freshman Alessa has the strength to deal with is the inexplicable visceral pull drawing her to a handsome ghostly presence. In between grappling with exams and sorority soirees - and disturbing recurring dreams of being captive in a futuristic prison hell - Alessa is determined to unravel the mystery of the apparition who leaves her breathless. But the terrifying secret she uncovers will find her groping desperately through her nightmares for answers. Because what Alessa hasn't figured out yet is that she's not really a student, the object of her obsession is no ghost, and her sneaking suspicions that something sinister is lurking behind the walls of her university's idyllic campus are only just scratching the surface. The opening installment in a twist-laden trilogy, Stitch spans the genres of paranormal romance and dystopian sci-fi to explore the challenges of a society in transition, where morality, vision, and pragmatism collide leaving the average citizen to suffer the results.
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Ghost, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, Young Adult, New Adult
Review: Stitch is truly a genre-stretching novel mashing up paranormal romance and dystopia science fiction to create a wholly original and intense indie sensation. Without directly imitating recent popular YA books, Stitch has positive similarities that will appeal to fans of books such as the Hunger Games. The sub-layering is apparent, but not difficult to follow. The book is a well orchestrated read that is thematically complex, as well as, intriguingly entertaining. Durante maintains steady control over world building and time jumping, while including various character perspectives. This takes tremendous skill and is a tedious process to prefect during early drafting. I admire the flow, transitions, past, present, reality and alternative reality maze. I have no idea how she pulled it off, but it was wonderful to read a work that demands so much attention from its creator. It truly is impressive. Many kudos!
Keeping the above praise in mind, my criticism of a few things shouldn't greatly deter a reader from picking up this book. Mostly, these are minor things that are personal preferences and not necessarily developmental flaws. Let me explain...the pacing picks up and a few areas felt rushed, but remembering that the length for YA tends to fall within a certain page count, and given the events occurring in multiple places, times and realities, it wasn't unreasonable. Due to the placing and nature of the 'reveal', which is mingled with action, the need to move quickly is unavoidable. Nevertheless, it's still hard to conceive that the main characters are accepting of what is happening. However, the setting up of shadow memories makes it more plausible.
Secondly, toward the end there is a bit of moralizing, recapping and extended explanation by the main character, which is directed at the reader. Including a "moral of the story" (to some degree) is a classic literary format and has been used over the ages. Is it my favorite? No, not really. I like to think that I can figure out the thematic complexity and ponder the lessons, moral, human condition and apply it to modern concerns and life on my own. However, this won't likely bother other readers unless they hold a degree in English Literature with an emphasis on Creative Writing. Even then, you'd have to be a total snob to point it out. My bad.
I'm truly excited about this trilogy and can't wait...and I mean CAN'T WAIT to get book two in my eager little hands. It's refreshingly original and one book the world of indie publishing is going to be proud to claim!
* ARC provided by independent author for review
About the Author...
Oh yeah, did I mention that book #2 Shudder is being revealed in a few weeks? So you won't have to wait too long to get the next in the trilogy! I hear rumors that it will be available this June!
Sneak Peek Snyopsis SHUDDER...
It’s only been three days, and already everything is different.
Paragon is behind her, but somehow Alessa’s life may actually have gotten worse. In a wrenching twist of fate, she traded the safety and companionship of her sister for that of her true love, losing a vital partner she’d counted on for the ordeal ahead. Her comfortable university life is but a distant memory, as she faces the prospect of surviving a bleak winter on the meager remains of a ravaged world. And if she’d thought she’d tasted fear upon seeing a ghost, she was wrong; now she’s discovering new depths of terror while being hunted by a deadly virus and a terrifying pack of superhuman creatures thirsting for blood. And then there are the visions. The memory-altering “stitch” unlocked something in Alessa’s mind, and now she can’t shake the constant flood of alien feelings ransacking her emotions. Haunting memories of an old flame are driving a deep and painful rift into her once-secure relationship. And a series of staggering revelations about the treacherous Engineers – and the bone-chilling deceit shrouding her world’s sorry history – will soon leave Alessa reeling…
The second installment in the electrifying Stitch Trilogy, Shudder follows Samantha Durante’s shocking and innovative debut with a heart-pounding, paranormal-dusted dystopian adventure sure to keep the pages turning.